Australian Visa Applications and Filipino Family

Filipino family members can be helpful and supportive in a visa application for a Filipina girl, or they can be a major stumbling block to your happiness. This is one of those matters we would all rather not deal with if we didn’t have to, but if you want to be together in Australia as a couple badly enough then you will have to be prepared to do what it takes. 

Filipino family problems with visa applications

Influence of family on Filipina girls

Family influences us all, no matter where we are. As I start writing this, I’m thinking how Australians can also have their relationships influenced by family members, but really not to the same extent and not in the same way. Probably because Australian sponsors are usually older and more independent, and because parents especially tend to have more of a controlling influence over their adult children in the Philippines compared to Australia. And it’s not just parents. Older sisters and aunties can wield a similar authority.

What it means is that most Filipinas are used to running everything they do by family members to seek their guidance, and if they don’t seek opinion it is usually given to them anyway. Older family members are rarely shy in voicing their opinion, and a lack of knowledge about that area rarely subdues them. The girl expects the advice and guidance, and is expected to follow that advice. That’s how Filipino families work.

Now, I’m not going to say much about influence on relationships, as this isn’t the place for that. For relationship matters, please have a look at our “sister site” www.filipinawives.com.au . I’m looking at how families can help or hinder a visa application for an Australian Filipina couple.

The point is that it is part of Filipino culture to live in an interdependent way with family, and for this to continue throughout your life. An older sister who would boss their little sister around when she was 5, she will do the same when she’s 25 or 35 or 45. Parents and aunties will do the same. Yes, the influence will reduce as the girl gets older, especially if she’s lived and worked away or possibly overseas, but don’t expect it to go as fast as it would for a 25 year old Australian.

How can Filipino family cause visa problems?

I suppose you have two areas you need to be concerned about. One is where the family are just accustomed to giving guidance and taking charge but have no negative or selfish motivation. The other is where they DO have selfish motivations. Both are difficult to deal with.

One of the issues here is that it’s usual for older people to know everything about everything, even if it’s completely new to them. They are older, therefore they are the experts and will not be shy about expressing their opinions strongly. And they will do this about all aspects of the visa application.

Should you use a Migration Agent or “Jheng Jheng’s Travel” in the local town? Or should you use no migration agent, because it costs too much? “Jheng Jheng” may be an old friend, or maybe someone else recommended them. Or maybe it’s just because they are local. Whether or not Jheng Jheng has any skills or knowledge won’t come into it.

Should you list details of kids or previous travel, etc? We’ve seen visas refused because Auntie said to leave the details off and not to even tell the Australian sponsor, because she was convinced he wouldn’t accept her with kids. Sadly for them, the Embassy was clever and found out. Overseas travels tend to be found too. Always tell the truth!

Should kids be included in the visa or left behind? I’ve written a number of BLOG articles about this. Feel free to look them up. Families can get very possessive about kids, especially in the case of single mums where they played a role in their upbringing. They also tend to be opinionated about where they should finish school. These opinions are not always what’s best for the kids in the long run.

Advising to use a “fixer” when there are mistakes with official documents. Sometimes the Aunties and parents were the ones who caused the problem with fake documents in the first place, and will insist that there is no problem with that method. And other times will just suggest speedy but dishonest “fixing” methods. This was very normal in the past, but Australian immigration doesn’t work that way.

Not understanding urgency or your wish to be together. Many Filipinos marry someone they grew up with in the local town, and they often go absolutely nowhere after marrying. And many who marry the person who made them pregnant don’t have especially loving relationships and therefore don’t get why you are in a hurry to be together. The result is they may throw obstacles in the path of the girl who should be getting on a plane to Australia to meet a deadline, or they may pressure her to return to visit and stay for long periods of time a little too soon or a little too often. This can cause you to breach visa conditions, plus it can make it hard to settle into a new family unit in Australia.

Wanting financial benefit! This is the primary negative and selfish motivation. If the family want to benefit by milking you for all they want get, then you have a big problem. It’s an insult to your value and your dignity, and you should never tolerate it.

We had some issues with my wife’s family when I arrived on the scene. They were used to controlling her. Didn’t want her marrying me. Didn’t want her to go to Australia. Generally used to bossing her around, and her doing as she was told. Then this Aussie with his own ideas turned up. She told me she wanted to make everyone happy, and I told her “You can’t! You need to choose!” You need to make your wife or wife-to-be Number One, and she must do the same with you. Can’t please everyone, and no one should expect otherwise of you or of her. How to deal with this? Talk it over and decide between the two of you what matters, and stick to it! The family will soon get used to it, because they have no choice. And inside themselves they will know you’re right!

Visa applications – the importance of being patient
Annulment or De Facto Relationship?